Cecily White

Call 2011

Cecily White | Call 2011

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Cecily acts for police forces and officers across the full spectrum of civil claims, including human rights and judicial review; inquests and inquiries; misconduct hearings and appeals. She has represented clients in significant cases in the police law field and won a Rising Star award from the Solicitors Journal in 2016.  Cecily is ranked by both Chambers & Partners and The Legal 500.


“She is very bright” and “demonstrates an ability to understand her brief, undertake research and produce high-quality advice.”
Chambers & Partners 2018

No duty of care owed by employer to employees in the conduct of civil litigation: read Cecily’s post on our UK Police Law Blog here 

civil actions / applications

Cecily has advocacy and advisory experience in cases involving allegations of assault/battery, unlawful stop and search, racial and sexual discrimination, false imprisonment, trespass to the person and to property, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office, negligence, and investigative failures under the Human Rights Act 1998.


Cecily has provided advice and drafting in numerous judicial review claims, and appeared in the High Court for (rolled up and self-standing) permission hearings. She has a strong public law background having worked at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, the Public Law Project, and a human rights NGO in Sierra Leone.


Cecily has acted in a wide range of misconduct cases, “fast track” hearings, appeals and related judicial review. She is adept at drafting charges, responding to procedural challenges, and navigating the conduct and performance regimes.


Cecily regularly appears on behalf of police forces in Article 2 and jury inquests. She has been junior counsel to Surrey Police in the fresh inquests ordered into the deaths of recruits at Deepcut Army Barracks between 1995 and 2002.  Other notable cases have involved firearms, restraint, emergency response and psychiatric patients.


Cecily regularly advises on points of law in areas such as data protection and freedom of information; police powers under PACE, RIPA and at common law; and the misconduct regime.

cases & work of note

Cecily’s notable police cases span judicial review and civil claims.

Recent cases have included:

  • Parker v Essex Police [2018] EWCA Civ 2788
    Acting for Essex Police in the compensation claim brought by Michael Parker (aka Barrymore) in respect of his arrest in 2007 following the death of Stuart Lubbock in March 2001.   The Court of Appeal allowed the police appeal holding that, even though the arrest had been unlawful, Mr Parker was only entitled to nominal damages.
  • Undercover Policing Inquiry (ongoing)
    Junior counsel to Sir Robert Francis QC on behalf of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
  • Gray v Police Appeals Tribunal [2018] EWCA Civ 34
    Led by John Beggs QC, resisting the judicial review of a decision to bring fresh Part 4 misconduct proceedings against an officer acquitted in the Crown Court of serious sexual offences. The appeal concerned the use of Part 5 (“special case”) misconduct proceedings where an officer has sustained a criminal conviction which is overturned on appeal.
  • Inquest touching the death of Sally Hodkin (2018)
    Acting for the Metropolitan Police Service in this inquest concerning the death of a woman killed by Nicola Edgington who had previously been convicted of manslaughter after killing her mother. Please see here for media coverage.
  • Mohidin & Ors v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2015] EWHC 2740 (QB)
    Allegations of racially aggravated assault, false imprisonment and breaches  of Articles  3, 8  and 14 ECHR, acting for the Commissioner (led by John Beggs QC) in the trial against the officers and related proceedings under CPR Part 20 seeking an indemnity from the impugned officers [2016] EWHC 105 (QB).  Authority on awards of damages in false imprisonment cases.
  • James-Bowen & Ors v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2015] EWHC 1249
    Strike out (led by John Beggs QC) of claims in negligence and contract concerning the Commissioner’s conduct of civil litigation brought by Babar Ahmad.
  • Harpham v Chief Constable of Nottinghamshire Police (sole counsel)
    2 week trial involving allegations of unlawful detention under s. 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983, unlawful arrest and false imprisonment, breach of statutory duty and harassment.
  • Laporte & Christian v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2014] EWHC 3574 (QB)
    Case clarifying the circumstances in which the police can go to the assistance of a body conducting a public meeting (led by George Thomas).
  • Inquest touching the death of Estyna Blunnie (2015)
    Cecily represented Essex Police at a 3 week jury inquest into the tragic death of a woman murdered by her former partner. Click here for press coverage.
  • Inquests into the deaths of soldiers at Deepcut Army Barracks (2016, 2018 and 2019)
    Junior counsel to Surrey Police in the fresh inquests ordered following the deaths of four soldiers at Deepcut Army Barracks between 1995 and 2002. Inquest into the death of Geoff Gray to be heard in Woking Coroner’s Court in spring 2019.



“She is noticeably good – junior but a standout. She is switched on, academic and intellectual.”
Chambers & Partners

“She has this great ability to predict the right outcome. She then suggests things to be done tactically and has an unnerving tendency for that to be proven right, which is particularly impressive for a junior. Also, she stops at nothing for the client.”
Chambers & Partners

“She is hard-working, incredibly diligent, focused and someone who ensures that cases are brought to trial in top condition.”
Chambers & Partners

“Extremely bright, easy to work with and very helpful.”
Chambers & Partners

“Demonstrates an ability to understand her brief, undertake research and produce high-quality advice.” 
Chambers & Partners

‘She represents forces in inquests and civil claims.’
The Legal 500

“Her written work is superb.”
Chambers & Partners

“She is very clever and explains her points well so that laypeople can understand.”
Chambers & Partners

“She is very bright”
Chambers & Partners